The votes are in and Luis Morales is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation mid-season community prospect list for the 2023 season. Morales won going away over Henry Bolte and Joe Boyle to claim the 11th spot on the list. Royber Salinas won the latest nomination and joins the voting for the next round.
Here is a look at the complete list:
- Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
- Zack Gelof, 2B
- Mason Miller, RHP
- Lawrence Butler, OF
- Darrel Hernaiz, INF
- Denzel Clarke, OF
- Daniel Susac, C
- Jacob Wilson, INF
- Max Muncy, INF
- Joey Estes, RHP
- Luis Morales, RHP
Here is the process:
- Five nominees will appear on the ballot. The one who receives the most votes earns the top spot in the CPL while the remaining four players move on to the next ballot where they are joined by the next nominee.
- In the comments, commenters will nominate a player to be put onto the ballot for the next round. After the first nomination for a player has been put in, all other votes for that player will come from Rec’ing that comment. The player with the most Rec’s earns the nomination.
- The format for the comment should be “Nomination: Player Name”.
- If a prospect is traded, his name will be crossed out, and all other players will be moved up a space. If a prospect is acquired, a special vote will be put up to determine where that players should rank.
Henry Bolte, OF
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 65 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
The A’s got a good look at the serious raw power Bolte possesses when he suited up for a pregame workout with the team shortly after signing his contract and bashed several home runs at the Oakland Coliseum during batting practice. Aside from the eye-popping power, he does need some development with the bat, as he has a tendency to chase offspeed stuff out of the zone and even shows some swing-and-miss in the zone.
Bolte’s near-elite speed is an asset both on the basepaths and on defense in the outfield, with an arm strong enough to play at the highest level. With his potential five-tool skillset and 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame drawing lofty comparisons to Blue Jays star George Springer, the A’s will get to work on cleaning up his swing.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 40
Thomas generates a ton of raw power thanks to a combination of bat speed and loft in his swing. He improved his selectivity and consistently was able to pounce on pitches over the plate in his last season of college. He displayed the ability to work counts and draw walks, which should help him produce solid on-base numbers. He does have some struggles against offspeed pitches and he’ll need to improve on that front.
Thomas’ athleticism is another plus, with near-plus plus speed and a strong arm that enables him to thrive in the corner outfield spots. That speed is also valuable on the basepaths. He’s an intelligent runner who can swipe some bases. Set to get his pro career underway, he’ll look to soon join Kyle Lewis as the next outfielder out of Mercer to reach the big leagues.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40
The Reds have continued to let Boyle start in order to allow him to stretch out, work on all of his stuff and learn how to make adjustments in-game, from inning to inning. His fastball is still as high-octane as ever, averaging over 97 mph, with riding action to it, a pitch that would hit triple digits regularly in shorter relief stints for sure. His upper-80s slider with good power and tilt misses a ton of bats and he also has a slightly slower low-80s curve that can flash above-average at times.
As it’s been since his college days, finding the strike zone is the biggest question mark for the 6-foot-7 right-hander. Even without much deception in his delivery, it’s clear he’s going to rack up strikeouts at any level, but while he’s done a slightly better job on the walks front as a pro, it’s still very much a work in progress. There likely will be a point in time when he gets moved to the bullpen, where command won’t be as much of an issue, but he’ll have to throw more strikes to earn high-leverage situations.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Tarnok increased his stock in the Braves’ system thanks to a return of his stuff that had regressed earlier in his pro career. His fastball sits around 95 mph, topping out at 98. While his curveball has long been an effective pitch and he added a slider more recently, he did struggle a bit landing them for strikes in 2022, but his low-80s changeup took a nice step forward and missed a good amount of bats.
Tarnok tends to be around the zone with a repeatable, athletic delivery and commands the ball well enough to get plenty of swing-and-miss, evidenced by his 10.5 whiffs per nine innings in ‘22. With a 6-foot-3 frame that looks to be durable, he figures to get a good look in Oakland’s pitching staff at some point in 2023.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40
Salinas is a prototypical power pitcher with his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. His repertoire features a fastball that can touch 99 mph and a power slider that has flashed plus and seems to be developing into a wipeout pitch. He also throws a curveball and changeup, though usage of both is mostly limited to when he’s facing left-handed hitters.
The high three-quarters delivery that Salinas utilizes requires a lot of effort and could very well be what is leading to his high walk rate throughout the Minors. The A’s plan to keep him in a starting role, though staying there for the long term is likely going to require a serious polishing of his arm slot. Given his impressive fastball-slider combo, it might not be the worst thing in the world to move him to the bullpen, where he could really stand out as a high-octane reliever.
Vote in the comments below for your favorite by Rec’ing his “Vote: (Player Name)” comment, and post your nomination for the next round as well.